“Truth?” you ask. “What about it?” Well, truth is a big deal. So much so that you can, as a thought experiment, divide the world into two camps: (A) those who believe in rigid, timeless, objective truths and (B) those who believe that truth varies from person to person and objective truth is a fantasy. And it sometimes seems as though the evening news is just a blow-by-blow retelling of the unceasing conflict between the two.
In this video, philosopher Michael Patrick Lynch walks you through how to start getting at the truth through the idea of shared, common reality. He says,
“Protagoras said that objective truth was an illusion because “man is the measure of all things.” That can seem…liberating, because it allows each of us to discover or make our own truth. But actually, I think it’s a bit of self-serving rationalization disguised as philosophy. It confuses the difficulty of being certain with the impossibility of truth. “
One of the best TED talks I’ve listened to in recent memory.
And now for the Cabal Fang Workout of the Week. Sorry, by the way, for missing last week. Stuff happened.
Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #65
- Heavy Bar training drill. Get yourself a heavy bar — a digging bar, barbell bar, etc. — and pick it up. Small folks use a #20, big folks use a something heavier. Beginners work for 6 minutes, intermediate 12, advanced 18 — do not put down the bar for the duration of the drill. Move that bar around like you would a staff if you were fighting — spearing movements, jabs, pokes, blocks, bracing maneuvers (striking with the portion between the hands), and so on. In addition, practice your Figure-4 locks. If your arms completely gas, put the bar behind your neck and do 10 to 20 Squats, then start again. Wear gloves if you’re a tenderfoot.
- 24-Hour commitment to truth. Make a commitment to speak the truth for the next 24 hours. The point isn’t to be blunt, rude or hurtful. To avoid that you’re going to need to slow down, choose your words carefully, and express what you’re feeling. Note: this isn’t the first time I’ve talked about truth. If you like this one, you might appreciate the previous one.
The other day I posted a video analysis of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. One of the things I mentioned was the nature and symbolism of Prince Philip’s Sword of Truth and Shield of Virtue.
During his fight with Maleficent in her dragon form, Prince Philip loses the Shield of Virtue because that’s what we all do. We’re human. We mess up, we make mistakes, we do things that we know are not in keeping with our own moral and ethical codes. But as long as we hold tight to truth the way that Prince Philip does in the movie, we can slay any dragon and ultimately regain our virtue. Because making a commitment to speak the truth is more than just a speech modifier. If you do things you’re ashamed of you’ll have to lie about what you did. So telling the truth is a behavior modifier too.
Truth may be the highest ideal known to man. That’s why it figures so prominently in the initiations of Cabal Fang. Individuals and cultures that do not revere truth may reap short-term rewards of one kind or another but eventually they will completely lose their virtue and have no way to regain it — and some dragon or other will eat them up in their bankruptcy.
Hold tight to truth my friends, and aim your compass toward it like it’s true north. You’ll screw up because we all do. But at least you’ll be able to get back on course!
Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #50 — Slip and Bob Drill 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
- 10 minutes of slipping and bobbing. Set a timer for 10 minutes and practice the 4 slips and the bob outlined in the video below. When you feel comfortable, start trying to do them along with someone calling out random number patterns. If you train solo, use this audio recording or make your own using the voice memo app on your phone.
- Heavy bag 4 x 2:oo/:30. Go after a heavy bag with maximum ill intent, just make sure that between each combination you (a) complete at least 2 slips or bobs, and (b) you circle the bag rather than standing stock-still. Hit while you move and move while you hit.
- Meditation on Truth. Look into your past starting with most recent history and find a time when you were less than truthful. Now set a timer for 10 minutes and assume your chosen meditative posture. Untangle that lie through meditation. Use your imagination to step into the scene. Relive the incident. See if you can come to understand why you weren’t truthful, what you should have done, and what you think you might do the next time you’re in a similar situation.